Good On Paper Review
Marian Allen rated it
I have to give this five stars, even though the eBook version I had was plagued with some formatting problems and the last third of the book wasn’t edited as scrupulously as the earlier parts.
Even so, this book is amazing. It swings effortlessly from gritty, painful realism to myth and back. One wonders whether the fairy-tale segments (Grimm Brothers fairy tales, where pain and blood have their places alongside safety and beauty) are metaphorical, hallucinatory, alternate reality or… or what. In the end, it doesn’t really matter.
This extraordinary story addresses the very real horror of being in an abusive relationship that no one acknowledges–not even you. It doesn’t flinch from showing the most frightening and crippling part of an abuser: the part that’s genuinely kind and loving. It’s this basic neurological and psychological cross-wiring between strong love and aggression that hobbles the abuser, the target and the care-takers who are supposed to watch for and prevent abuse.
Parkhurst uses multiple points of view to tell this story. Multiple point of view doesn’t always work, because the reader CAN lose track of who’s talking. No danger of that with Parkhurst’s characters–each is unique, and she hardly needs to preface every chapter with who is the narrator; none of her narrators’ voices could possibly be confused with any other! It’s a stunning piece of work.
I understand she’s working on a sequel. I’m waiting.
Someone’s in the Kitchen Family Cookbook Review
The Someone’s in the Kitchen Family Cookbook just got its first review on Amazon. The review was written by Caroline Ziel. Let’s listen in, shall we?
The Someone’s In the Kitchen Family Cookbook by Sherry Wachter is the most recent addition to my recipe collection. What sets this apart from other cookbooks is it’s gift of story. In the introduction Sherry describes how the women would get together and tell family stories while canning and cooking for holidays, birthdays and other events. These recipes are a sampling that represent both the food and the stories that still bind this family together. Photographs of the family members who inspired the recipes are sprinkled throughout, along with the author’s magical artwork.
I immediately picked out 3 recipes that I could explore: Black bean soup by “Shirley”, Potato soup also by “Shirley” and Pretzels by “Grandma'” . The recipes were classic American comfort food, easy to follow and good for the soul. My favorite was the potato soup which was creamy and filling. Then came the “pretzel” which was not the traditional twisted treat but a substantial bread.
This is a beautifully crafted book, pleasing to both the palate and the spirit.
Okay, now it’s your turn. Talk amongst yourselves. When reviews come in, I’ll post them here.
Review: Good On Paper
Reviewed By Renee Washburn
Official Apex Reviews Rating: 5 stars
Some would call them dysfunctional, others would call them normal…
With an accident-prone matriarch, a reincarnated witch, a slick-talking spin doctor, and the pregnant mistress of a married televangelist, the Conrad family has more than its fair share of interesting characters. Furthermore, given the fact that they were spawned from clean-living, salt-of-the-earth farmers, one would find it difficult to understand just how the Conrad children ended up so far off the beaten path. To top it all off, as the family reunites for what appears to be a rather uneventful summer – Dan, the family patriarch, suddenly ends up dead, and his
demise is clearly not accidental. In light of this horrific tragedy, can the Conrad family finally get its collective act together in the interest of ultimate redemption?
Throughout the pages of Good On Paper, author Bodie Parkhurst introduces the reader to the curious logistics of a family that – though far from
saintly – no doubt serves as an accurate reflection of many familial clans in modern-day America. Combining compelling, lifelike scenarios and vivid, well-defined characters, Parkhurst paints a striking picture of humanity at its worst and best, highlighting both the disastrous consequences of sin and the healing power of forgiveness. In sum, the reader is presented with a realistic snapshot of what families all over the world should strive to achieve: the enduring bonds of mutual love and respect – regardless of personal differences or intermittent clashes. In so
doing, Parkhurst has crafted an engaging, true-to-life tale reminding us all that – no matter what society may say to the contrary – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with simply being human.
With subtle sentimentality and surprisingly deft humor, Good On Paper is an enjoyable, rewarding read. An impressive, insightful new offering from a gifted literary talent on the rise.
Redeeming Stanley “Seriously Reviewed”
The website Seriously Reviewed has taken a gander at Redeeming Stanley. Here’s what they think. (Odd–the lady/dog thing provoked a lot of discussion at the Walla Faces Women and Wine reading group I visited tonight. We all decided we liked the dog. A lot.)
But on to Seriously Reviewed’s review:
Blurb: Not your average romance novel!
Annie’s sick of settling for cleaning up after the messes of her hapless boyfriend, Weldon, so when she gets an inheritance she sets off for greener pastures. Now she’s confronted with her grandmother’s ghost, a manor full of dependents, a pack of hell-hounds and a gardener who might just be the man of her dreams.
Meanwhile, Angela’s convinced her brand of love could turn life around for the seedy man living down the street, if only she could get him away from the floozy living next door. But the old gods are waking up again and she might just get the surprise of her life.
Warning: this book requires a wicked sense of humor!
Review: What ever you do DO NOT ignore the warning 🙂 If you are not pretty open minded, if you don’t have a slightly twisted sense of humor then I have to say this story might not be for you.
For Me though, OMG, what a trippy, interesting, wickedly wild story 🙂 Somehow I missed the WARNING when I snagged this one so when I first started it, My Mouth Dropped! But oh how I kept going 🙂 And I am so glad I did.
Weldon? He sucks. Total grade A butt munch of the highest order, no doubt. I got sucked into his and Annie’s story. Then you have Stan and Angela. Oh yeah, that is a story all on it’s own, but the way Bodie twined them together….SWEET!
Now, if you are a bit faint of heart I must tell you that there is reference to….a woman making it with a dog. Reference hell, Grandma admits it. However, I have to say that the dog…well he used to be a human but is now trapped in his doggie body. Ehh, I could roll with it because of the tone of the entire story and the fact that there was no depiction. 🙂
The Independent Entity? Oh I laughed so hard. Wanna know what I am talking about? Now you know I can’t spoil it 🙂
Thanks to the folks over at Seriously Reviewed for looking Redeeming Stanley over, and saying what they think. You can check out more of their reviews here. Or, you can just bite the bullet and buy a copy of Redeeming Stanley of your very own here, and join the discussion. Tell us what you think, and as long as it’s within the bounds of good taste (and believe me, that’s a very elastic boundary around here), we’ll print it.
Praise for Redeeming Stanley, Winner of the Best of the Best E-books Award, 2009
I asked for original….I got original. Redeeming Stanley is like no other book I’ve ever read, and that’s saying a lot. Hilarious at every turn, Redeeming Stanley is a fast, fun page-turner of a novel.
I’m loath to summarize it because I don’t want to give anything away, but if you’ve ever woken up and realized you were sleeping with someone way below you in the cosmic gene pool, this book is for you. If you’ve ever sought to redeem someone who is unredeemable , this book is for you. If you’ve ever wondered where the old gods hang out now, this book is for you. And if you’ve ever thirsted for revenge – good, old fashioned, hell-raising revenge, this book is for you.
If you’re uptight, for God’s sake, do not read this book. But if you’re a grown-up with a sense of humor, you’re going to love it.